Question: How useful are mood stabilizers or antipsychotic medications for treating pediatric depression?
Answer: Mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics, which is the most commonly prescribed agent among the antipsychotics, are useful for the treatment most of bipolar disorder as opposed to unipolar depression or what's often called adolescent depression.
In those instances, you absolutely need the use of the mood stabilizer in order to make the bipolar disease better. Having said that, there are a number of patients who'll benefit from adjunct treatment with mood stabilizers. These are children or adolescents who've responded somewhat to the presence of an antidepressant, but need an addition a mood stabilizing agent to complete their treatment.
This is especially the case for children and adolescents who suffer what we call a psychotic depression. Those are children who in the setting of their depression have psychotic symptoms as well. In those instances, they tend to only get better with the use of an atypical antipsychotic.